Saturday, December 31, 2016

Old D&D Modules

Courtesy of the internet, we have been playing these two:

 - The Curse of Menstaugher Manor by Christianmichael Dutton

 - The Palace of the Silver Princess by Jean Wells and Tom Molaby

The first we are running with 5th Edition D&D rules, the second using 7.5 T&T rules. Both are good value and its is nice that we are getting close to finishing the Silver Princess given that i hwas told Jean Wells has just died - a little tribute, well deserved I'm sure. The Palace adventure has been amended to suit our T&T universe while the Manor is settled on an obscure tentacle of the Kraken continent where we have agreed magic works differently ie D&D magic.

Anyway, all jumping and jiving in a very satisfying fashion.




Friday, December 30, 2016

Pushing Further Into The Unknown

Spirov is still with us! He has negotiated his way past three further encounters and now has a fantastic weapon that is not only enchanted for normal purposes but is especially useful down here. I won't give the game away beyond saying that!

At every encounter there are a number of set options:


  1. Evade
  2. Flee
  3. Missile attack
  4. Use magic
  5. Fight
  6. Hide
  7. Attempt a bribe
  8. Attempt to parley
Sometimes one or more of these choices is clearly inappropriate but you still get the chance to test it out :)

Spirov favours his crossbow if parleying does not look hopeful but he's quite prepared to try to dodge past a monster or guardian if they don't look too sprightly.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Exploring the Caves

Although  have only written 16 of the 45 'parts' to this (well, setting up all the mechanical bits took time as you always have the option to evade, flee, fire a missile, cast a spell, charge into battle, hide, bribe or parley), I've done a little playtesting.

I figured a L4 warrior might have a sporting chance with STR 40. Spirov missed with his crossbow at the first encounter and then choose to leg it to safety but at the second time of asking he slew 2 guard-monsters. Go Spirov!

After writing 2 more 'caves' I shall goad him into going deeper into danger...

Friday, December 23, 2016

Caves of Nerja

Here is the cover for the solo I'm currently working on (more later):


Thursday, December 22, 2016

I Think Its Time to Go to Caerthaeph't

What a great city it is - well, for the criminally inclined anyway. Not a great place to leave your vehicle unattended. The solo, "joy Ride", is bound for DriveThruRPG Deal of the Day.

Here are the covers:




Wednesday, October 5, 2016

More Trollgod Action

I found this post this morning:

Ralif Redhammer - 
Nice!

At Gen Con 2014, St. Andre challenged my brother and me to a planking contest. Fun dude.


I had earlier found those on the roof of the duomo in Florence - I think I know where he got his training...



Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Some Photos From Tuscany

When I'm out and about with a camera in my hand, i can't resist taking shots that turn my mind to a new character or monster for a game. Here are some from today's visit to Siena, a marvellous medieval city with a remarkable Gothic cathedral.

Digital photography is like switching from 5.5 to 7.5 and drastically reducing the risk of failure (1,3 and 3,1 don't count any more)...







Friday, September 30, 2016

A Rose By Any Other Name

(I probably use that quote all too often as a justification!)

Story-gaming is so embedded in my life now that it kind of happens regardless of what else is going on - except at times of extreme stress such as trying to escape the orbit of Rome airport with a incomprehensible GPS device to get to a hidden villa on the outskirts of Florence after two thirteen hours flights from Auckland to Rome via Shanghai, for which not even the stiff-upper-lip approach served very well!) Normal driving, sightseeing, gallery browsing and so on does not seem to halt the semi-creative flow.

Many of the games we play have little to do with Trollworld but they are all deeply inspired by Ken's genius for simple game mechanics and his determination that freedom outweighs the rulebook, but not without a framework to experiment from (a constitutional American!).

Exploring 5th Edition D&D with Charlie is an interesting process but for all its merits in my eyes compared to earlier versions (not that I studied them closely!), I can't help but nudge it along Trollworld lines. Clerics become another class of wizards for instance and my monsters fail to behave according to the script; when I read that Constitution is hardy ever used for DCs, I think "Really?" and find that it is just not true. Substituting 'Perception' for 'Wisdom' just about gets me past my horror of not having 'Luck' to turn to - but I find myself backing that up with lots of 'Charisma' rolls so that the whole thing seems credible.

Making it all vaguely credible, humourous and fluid - there's the challenge!

By the way, I think I discovered the resting place of the Holy Hand Grenade...


Monday, September 26, 2016

D&D 5th Edition Live in Florence

Charlie has been keen to explore alignments and likes rules much better than me so I have had to invest in a few d20s!

My take on the 5th edition is that it has rocketed over on the direction of T&T! I'll expand on that later.

As we are in Italy, we are playing a game in which the PCs have been transported to Roma by Pan - who requires them to disgrace the mainstream Roman pantheon. So far Neptune and Mercury have fallen - aediles have announced their falseness to the plebs.

The three characters are:


  • An orc vigile named Vaticanus who gets frightfully upset when he breaks a law
  • An orc bailiff named Tusca Knee who is frightfully dim with sudden outbreaks of inspiration
  • A harpy improbably named Popeonarope who is claiming to be a unicorn in human form named Tent
Here is a picture from a wall in Florence which appears to show Vaticanus chasing a thief, unaware that Popeonarope (in duck form) is chasing him:



And here is a picture of Tusca (outside the Uffizi Gallery) having the life choked out of him by a door guard (custodis ianuae):


Bean Stalk - Final Play Test

OK, nearly time to let go. I did the proofreading with a trial copy of Ginger so now let's have Ardenstone create me some dungeon fodder!

#1 - Slitzvar, human warrior - takes nasty fall straightaway, CON down to 1, retires from the field.

#2 - Fulcrum, dwarf warrior - with massive STR of 34 he shoots up to the half way point and... gets to the top where he has to fight a lima bean... which confounds him and he takes 6 hits... then repeats the pain with a further loss of 9 CON,,, but then he pulls himslef together and fights back, pulping it with disdain (CON now 11) - he is on a cloud that he can stand on and finds a smoking glass bowl with a ring inside... he tries for the ring with his dagger but fails to get it so he moves on to another cloud... where he has to face another lima bean - he resists its weird confusion attack and hammers it to mush... he sees another smoking bowl with a ring inside and this time does manage to retrieve it... and gains a magic item that will enable him to open locks...

OK, enough! Don't want to spoil it. This solo starts with a 14 page, 5200 word story about the remote village of Mucklepuddle Marsh so there is quite a backdrop to the 100 paragraphs of action.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Online Games and Making Bacon

I thought I'd try making pannacotta as I'm in Italy...



(No animals were hurt in the making of this photo.)

My involvement in a 5.5. game on Trollbridge has come to the end with the death of my wizard Khloemar. I'm not too sorry as it proved really hard terrain in terms of character advantage and (for me) never rolling a dice in anger (the GM did this) left a distinct lack of association. Charlie's PC, Winip, also died -rather famously, I think, hurling vomit at a demoness with his CON on 1 after a nasty fall). In fact, 4 of the party of 6 died in the Darksmoke Dungeon, making it one of the most bloodthirsty games I've participated in for many a year, Ken's Fellowship of the Vine game included.

In another ongoing game, one on a fairly grand scale and driven by the GM's narrative, my humble warrior woman has risen to become a member of the aristocracy in a Lerotah'h-less Khazan. Here is the latest:

Brevail surreptitiously casts, "Huge Bonus to Charisma and Ignore Fear of Public Speaking" on Lil.


"I...um, we...er...I.."begins LIl, clearly out of her depth.
Then a serene smile passes over her face and an inner radiance shines forth that she, perhaps, is unaware of.
"Your Graces, my friends and I are deeply honoured by your kindness in coming here today. We are humble people who have tried our best to make the most of the good fortune bestowed on us by Higher Powers and to share this bounty with those whose paths cross ours. We pay you the utmost respect and aim to treat all those who offer respect to us and others with no less generosity and compassion.
We have no history of managing our good fortune and beg leave to request that your advisors assist us in discharging our affairs appropriately.
We intend to shirk no burden fate brings our way and we pledge our lives to righting wrongs and defending truth, liberty and justice."
With that, Lil looks nervously about, tempted to apologise for her temerity in speaking.

 One Thousand hands applaud, 500 voices shout, Hip, hip, Hugh ray.

Lady Ulstar rises, “Lady Ovthaphalli, you and your friends have in the short time you have lived in Khazan, have shown a dedication to the common good. Whatever the need might be you have, without promise of reward or safety, done what was necessary to help other citizens of Khazan. Your efforts enable the human families of Khazan to obtain the way and means to rebuild our neighborhoods, resolved a conflict between Uruks and Goblins. Cleared the names of two visitors to our city, and rescued Te Ro-Zen, Sun Te Quan, and Sun Tu Rhee from imprisonment. Khazan now has a very profitable trade with the Amazon Nation and the raiding of their lands by pirates has stopped. When the mad man and his giant destroyed the Digs and the Wizard’s Quarters of our fair city, drove many of our productive citizens from Khazan under a threat of death if they remained, who have since returned to strengthen Khazan one again, it was your actions that reopened the gates of Khazan to these kin, who now serve as honored members of our City Council and sit her at this table provided by you.  When our sister city of Khosht was attacked, you and your friends raised the banner, encouraged others to meet the need of Khosht and with minimum fighting broke the siege, destroyed the violent leaders of the Uruks, and made peace with the Uruks, who have returned to Khazan. In the process, discovered the long lost Holy Forge of the Dwarves. Without asking for a reward, immediately returned the control to the Council of Dwarven Elders, whose leader, Her Royal Majesty Queen Brrgrd has graced our city with her presence this evening and who I now recognize and yield the floor to her, Your Highness, we await your pleasure.”

Queen Brrgrd rises to speak, “I have traveled here for the singular purpose of acknowledging the great debt the Dwarf-kin owe to The Four Adventurers, Lady Lil, Brevail Amandil, The Red Warrior, and Utento the Vicious. Who lead Captain Tul Dar, now Elder Tul Dar, to the Uruk infested cave on the north coast of the Dwarven Sea, liberated the cave and restored the Holy Forge to the rightful owners, The Dwarf Elders. We, the Dwarf Elders, recently presented them with tokens of our appreciation, and in recognition of their great deeds tonight We sincerely acknowledge their honesty, loyalty, and service to the Dwarf Nation by Our presentation to each of them of the Medallion of Eternal Fidelity between the Dwarf Nation and each of them, Prince Dorval, please present the Honorees with their Medallions.”

 The Prince Doral stands and walks to Lil, He opens a small velvet covered box and withdraws a fine gold chain with a star-diamond pendant. He slips the chain over her head and adjusts how it hangs, he then slips a matching award on Brevail, Red and Utento. (Brevail detects magic radiating for the star-diamond pendant.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Solo - Bean Stalk

Here are the covers to my new solo. Not ready to release yet as I am in play test mode.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Jihizar Oasis

This campaign is three sessions old now and is up to 4 players. The oasis seems a terrible place to the players - the ruler has perverted the local fertility cult with blood sacrifices to feed his lush gardens and rules with a legion of undead skeletons, ghouls and zombies.

Then there is his vizier who has seized the wares of the alcoholic elf wizard and has threatened the players with execution as spies if they do not spy for him on his master. The players are all in the monthly blood sacrifice lottery and three of them have just survived a fight in the arena to prove their worth as workers at the oasis, which earns them a crust and a bed rather than being cast out into the desert where sand-dwelling trollkin lurk, waiting for the unwary.

A 200-strong bandit force, which sacked the caravan that brought the players to the oasis, is about to attempt to take the oasis but must first content with the Undead Legion sent to settle things away from the palace. Stories of demonic possession of the caravan captain have been brought back by a cleric healer traded by the bandits for items held by the Jihizar priestesses - this does not bode well for anyone.

The people here - Scarabs - have a hard life and steal anything they can and the vizier's 70 year old secretary has developed a hankering for the elf wizard, much to his distress. The halfling paladin has continually to deal with ignorant Scarabs assuming he is a little boy while the thief/scout player has been cursed by a Scarab and his condition is deteriorating daily.

The one mitigating factor is that the Scarabs selected as oasis guards seem honourable and honest.

The players are about to attempt to spy on Boreas, the oasis ruler, in his Gardens as the vizier has demanded a report but they have only an hour before they must go out into the desert to seek to recapture stray camels.

Nothing is simple here. nothing happens which does not add a strand to the web of deceit that is being spun about them.

This game is a D&D game, a set of hybrid rules as each player uses a different edition and I know none! My T&T tendency has been brought to bear in one particular way - adding a LK attribute which is getting a good work out.

Here are the gardens they are entering:


And this is the commander of the Undead Legion, Leviticus:
 These are the sand-dwelling trollkin flesh-eaters:


This is the scheming vizier:


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kickstarter

I got an email from my sister in Australia this week telling me she had bumped into a D&D fan who she told I was a D&D writer. She asked me to get in touch with him because he wanted signed hard copies...

Of course, I 'confessed' to being no such thing and told him he had to replace the dungeons with tunnels and the dragons with trolls. He still wanted to buy!

Anyhow, I bit of PayPal cash came my way so I used it to back Darcy Perry's Kickstarter Miniatures campaign that I mentioned here a few days ago (you can Google it easily so I won't look up the address now).

I got a very warm message back from Darcy straightaway and I think the world went round a little better for all that.

I've been listening to a Kickstarter this week.

After plunging headfirst into The Jam I then swum a few lengths with The Clash.

My take at 55 on why those bands resonated so much with the 18 year old me is that when I wanted to hear myself better articulated I listened to Brother Paul and when I wanted to know the world as it 'really' was I turned to Uncle Joe.

Joe Strummer died at 51 in 2002. The documentary I watched suggests he was very happy at the end of his life and I'm glad about that. Mick Jones (despite being sacked from The Clash by Joe) was so genuinely fond in all he said that, just like Joe said back in 1977, he's my guitar hero). The icing on their cake was that Mick got up from the crowd and played with Joe's band for the first time in long years just a couple of months before Joe died.

Anyway. I like this wall:


Monday, August 8, 2016

The Age of Exploration

I agreed to give a talk today to a class of thirteen year olds learning about the world beyond these shores on where I come from - so they get to hear about my life in Essex. It was a rough place by the end of the 70s with skinheads in the town centres and Thatcher at the reins.

To prepare, I've been listening to the Jam. They were colossal in my life from 77 until they split. That music stands my test of time! I used to rush my money to the record shop, that's for sure. "All Mod Cons" is the sort of pun I grab whenever I can.

What's stuck in my head now is a couple of lines from 'Sounds from the Street' off the first album, "In The City": I know I'm from Woking and you'll say I'm a fraud but my heart is in the city where it belongs". There was always someone to make you feel a fraud but you stuck with where your heart was at if you didn't want to lose your way.



Anyhow, this is not a music blog, despite the recent Jukebox, so here's how I'm really going to recommend any thirteen yeat old escapes the orbit of our current consume-at-all-costs paradigm:



Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Snollygoster

Charlie Flemming publishes "The Snollygoster" from time to time.

It's free via DriveThru and this issue has a short, drunken solo written by me:


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rose of Stormguard

We have been playing a game involving a transplanted Goa'uld character who hooks up with Rose in the larcenous city of Caerthaeph't (see 'Joyride' and 'Control Freak').

Rose features in Ken St Andre's novel - which I want to recommend. It's a great picture of a dungeon delve and cracks along at a thunderous pace.

Rise is still alive and making her way to the Ogre Peninsula on Khaghtch'an, the Kraken continent. She has had a little trouble with the befuddled Wizard-God Khaghbboommm but has been put on the right track again by the Witch-Goddesses Octopussy and Lois at Lake Calamare.

Here's the back of the novel:


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Star Hat Miniatures: Heroic Scale Metal Figurines for RPGs

I want to recommend this to you because Darcy is a thoroughly splendid fellow and you will not be disappointed:



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1262520792/star-hat-miniatures-heroic-scale-metal-figurines-f

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rotten Tomatoes

We've seen three movies recently: Tarzan, Ghostbusters and Star Trek.

I liked Ghostbusters! Charlie and Kamea said it lacked a 'boss fight' at the end but it was bright and hummed along. The cameos for DA and BM were predictable but nice.

As for the other two movies, they did not rock my world. In fact...



Still, as a searched for the above classic (which I assume I am allowed to post here as a tribute), I found another image I liked which I don't think has ever made it into a T&T rulebook. Its all you need to know about what sort of kindred you can play:


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Put Another Dollar In The Jukebox

There it is, up against the wall. 




There is no way out of this room so you had better press the 'Play' button and see what you get...





1 - Emergency – 999      Roll 1d6 – the higher the roll the worse the emergency  Make a saving roll at the level on your choice of WIZ, INT, LK or CHR to stave it off or the whole party are toast!
2 - 68 Guns – The Alarm              Not nice! A whole artillery company is lined up and ready to fire                                Roll 2d6: on a 1,1 roll all the guns backfire and the pc escapes; on 1,2 roll they all misfire and a pardon is granted; anything else and the execution is carried out
3 - Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus            Bala may be dead but he’s climbing from his coffin right now!     Roll 1d6 and multiply by 10 to find the MR you must face…
4 - Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones             This devil wants worshippers, with death being the price for a failure to fawn effectively    Roll 1d6 to find the level of the CHR SR needed to placate the evil fiend
5 - Monster Mash – Bobby Pickett                         It’s a great party thanks to the Coffinbangers and the Cryptkicker 5 but you really do need to fit in!          Make a L1 SR on CHR to impress with a scary roar or a piteous moan or the monsters snack on you
6 - Rat Trap – The Boomtown Rats                          You find yourself poised on a giant mousetrap – L1 SR on DEX to get off without being cut in two by the deadly anti-rodent device
7 - I Feel The Earth Move – Carole King               As the first tremor is felt, you have to make a L1 SR on SPD to get under a bed before the ground cracks open and swallow you
8 - Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Chet Baker             This is one for the leprechauns!                                Any member of the Little Folk playing this record finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainnbow             It’s worth 1d6 x 500 GPs
9 - The Road To Hell – Chris Rea              If this road is followed far enough, all will be lost! A L1 SR on INT is required to get your bearings and find another route
10 - Zombie – The Cranberries   Rising up from beneath the dance floor comes a mouldering, brain eating undead monster! MR is 1d6 x 10
11 - Smash It Up – The Damned This is a free pass for wanton destruction! Make your combat roll and multiply by the level of a SR you try on STR – you get APs equal to the total and a whole heap of red-blooded satisfaction!
12 - Getting Away With It – Electronic    Another get-rich-quick opportunity!       Make the best SR you can on LK and multiply against 100 – this is the value of the gems you can snatch from Mrs. Bagpuss, the Mayor’s wife, if you make a L1 SR on SPD to get away      If you fail, you spend a year in jail
13 - All Right Now – Free              A freebie for those in dire straits (ok, wrong band!)         You get a little blue pill that will completely heal your next wound
14 - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer – George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers   Happy daze!       The drinks are on the house make a SR on INT and subtract the level from 3 – this is the level SR on CON you have to make to survive/avoid drinking yourself into a coma
15 - Man Eater – Hall & Oats                       The woman you hook up with (and, hey, your gender is irrelevant here) turns out to have a big, gaping mouth and needle-sharp teeth               You need to disengage from the love-grapple you so willingly entered into or your goose is cooked!           A L1 SR on DEX is required to make a clean break and save your tenderest parts…
16 - Don’t Go – The Hothouse Flowers   You have done something dreadful and have upset your comrades – you need to beg them not to abandon you! Make a L1 SR on CHR or you are hopelessly on your own in a particularly perilous place
17 - Proud To Fall – Ian McCulloch                            You stand on the edge of a seemingly bottomless chasm and must walk a tightrope to get across (the pack of rabid ghouls hot on your heels makes this a must)            Make a L1 SR on DEX or you fall foreverrrrrrrrrr
18 - Higher And Higher – Jackie Wilson Those ghouls are still after you!                 If you can make a L1 SR on STR you can climb up that vertical cliff, banging in pitons as you go             If not, the ghouls feast on your entrails!
19 - Ghosts – Japan                         You may have a mighty sword arm but what are you going to do against ghosts?                       Don’t even think about calling Ghostbusters!     You either have to cast a group zapping spell or leggit (a L1 SR on SPD willsee you safe and sound)
20 - Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull              You thought that potion was going to do you good, didn’t you, you little optimist, you?              Well, you were wrong and unless you can make a L1 SR on CON to shrug off its insidious effects you will be rendered cabbage like in 59 seconds (with an INT of just 3)
21 - Many Rivers To Cross – Jimmy Cliff Well (is that a pun?), they’e not really rivers, just streams                            Trouble is, it’s not water flowing but highly caustic acid and you will have to jump, jump and jump again because those ghouls are after you again!        Make a L1 SR on STR or you will tire before the last of the many is crossed AND a L1 SR on DEX because there’s not a lot of room between them                     You know what will happen if you go in…
22 - Beds Are Burning – Midnight Oil                      But will you notice and wake up?              It’s an early cremation if you don’t make a L1 SR on CON to smell the smoke before your eyes melt
23 - Roll Away The Stone – Mott The Hoople                      Stuck in a cave with the air supply dwindling…    You need to make a L1 SR on STR to save yourself from suffocation
24 - Don’t Fear The Reaper – The Blue Oyster Cult            Or maybe you should?                  Because his coming after you with that nasty, sharp scythe                        You need to generate at least 30 hits to knock it aside and keep your head on your shoulders
25 - Thieves Like Us – New Order             You’re going to have your pocket picked and lose all your money and gems unless you make L1 SRs on both INT and SPD to shift your ass before it is picked
26 - Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum                        Fortunately this spirit wishes to bestow a gift     Make a L1 SR on LK and you get 1d6 added to WIZ
27 - Wonderwall – Oasis               The wonderwall is worth getting over if you can stop wondering what is on the other side and climb it                 Make a L1 SR on INT and you will stop daydreaming and get to the Pool of Refreshment on the other side which adds 1d6 to CON
28 - With A Little Luck – Wings  If you can make a L! SR on LK you get to reroll the next SR you critically fumble
29 - Panic – The Smiths  Ever been on the receiving end of an Oh Go Away spell?                              Unless your INT, LK and CHR amount to more than 39 you get sent into such a tailspin you will just keep running until your heart bursts!
30 - Puff The Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul and Mary                          Make a L1 SR on CHR and you will have Puff as a friend for life  A magic dragon makes a great friend – he can fly you most any place and cast any spell up to your level if you ask him
31 - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason – Pink Floyd               You should have got out while you still could but greed for gold stopped your feet   Next time you need to flee, you delay for one round looking for something that glitters in your imagination and must make a L1 SR on INT to give up the delusion
32 - War Pigs – Black Sabbath     Monstrous swine with sabre teeth (1d6 of them) lock on to the sight and smell of you as the target for their next meal             They have MRs of 20 – watch out!
33 - Swords Of A Thousand Men – Tenpole Tudor             But whose side are they on?      Make L1 SRs on LK and CHR or you end up a prisoner of war for 1d6 years and come out with a CON of 1d6
34 - You Trip Me Up – The Jesus And Mary Chain              Well, you’re down but are you out?        You need to make L1 SRs on both DEX and SPD to elude the assassin whose outstretched leg takes you to the ground
35 - Spellbound – Siouxie And The Banshees                      There is a chance to break free though…                               Make a L1 SR on WIZ and the mean, manic, malevolent, murdering magician who cast the Hold That Pose on you won’t be able to maintain it   If you succeed and then make a L1 SR on SPD you can catch him and turn the tables, gaining his Fly Me ring!
36 - Torch – Soft Cell                       Suddenly, you are plunged into darkness and the dark is full of dangers!               Unless you have a torch, lantern or can cast a suitable spell such as Cat Eyes or Will-o-Wisp you will perish here
37 - Expressway To Your Skull – Sonic Youth                       A dreaful burrowing worm tries to tunnel to your brain – it is very hungry!        Unless you can make a L1 SR on SPD to get out of the way in time or a L2 SR on CON (your skull would be too tough for the worm’s teeth) you will lose consciousness and soon die
38 - In The Jailhouse Now – The Soggy Bottom Boys                        You got drunk and have been arrested and are behind bars        The Hanging Judge is in town and the sheriff doesn’t like use tax payers money to feed criminals              You need to make a L1 SR on CHR or you will stand trial with the inevitable outcome
39 - I See Red – Split Enz               Next time you get into a fight you will go berserk regardless of your INT
40 - At The Edge – Stiff Little Fingers                       Chasm time again!           It is stormy and the winds are buffeting you terrribly        You need to make L1 SRs on both STR and DEX to stand firm and keep your balance or you will be lost…
41 - Ride A White Swan – T Rex You gain a familiar, the size of a donkey, with a CON triple yours
42 - Song To The Siren – This Mortal Coil               You feel all at sea as a haunting voice plucks at your heartstrings and sucks at your soul                Now you have to return the favour… Unless you can make a L1 SR on CHR and another on INT you will not find the melody and not come up with lyrics to satisfy which will mean that the siren drags you under the waves to a watery grave
43 - Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday             Are you going to pick one and eat it? Up to you!                                If you do, make a L1 SR on LK       Failure meand it is full of deadly toxins while success meana that 1d6 attributes of your choice rise by 1d6
44 - Werewolves Of London – Warren Zevon                     You’d better have a silver-edged weapon, an enchanted blade or be able to cast a devasting spell if you’re going to see off this MR50 regenerating howling furball


45 - Boris The Spider – The Who               You can get past Boris’ web if you make a L1 SR on DEX but if you get trapped you will need a L1 SR on STR to break free before the arachnid eats you!
46 - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles            A beautiful angel looks down upon you from here cloud and begins showering you with tiny diamonds – you’ve hit the jackpot!    Multiply the level of the best LK SR youcan make plus 1 by 1,000 to see how rich you have become
47 - Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones                Your dice will tumble the way you want them to once in the future          On any one saving roll of your choice you may adjust one of the dice (probably so doubles show!)
48 - Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey                Your left pinkie turns to gold!     It is worth your weight in gold quite literally and it can also turn another being into a solid gold statue before its magic burns out
49 - Hammer To Fall – Queen     You suddenly find yourself at a fairground, shrunk to miniature size, beneath a bell, by flashing lights, with a giant holding a two-handed hammer in front of you grinning inanely                    The giant raises the hammer and swings it down with gusto, aiming at you!          Make a L1 SR on SPD to jump aside in time or you are just so much raspberry jam
50 - Witchy Woman – The Eagles              Now this particular witchy woman happens to be a Witch-Goddess         She scrutinies you and comes to a decision about what to do with you    Make L1 SRs on each attribute in turn     If you do better than L1 she will boost that attribute by 1d6 times the level you achieved         If you just make L1 she does nothing        If you fail L1 she subtracts 1d6 from that attribute                            If you roll a critical fumble she subtracts 1d6 d6 from the attribute (which may well leave you dead or utterly unviable)


Monday, July 25, 2016

Dungeon Jukebox Top 50

Over at the Trollbridge someone made a post about a jukebox in a dungeon. When the delvers - who are trapped in the room - play a record then the action starts. What that action is depends on what the particular record inspires in the GM or solo writer.

What a great idea!

I trawled through tracks in my music folder and soon had 50 to write actions for. I think I've done 25 so far.

Watch this space...

(Not least because...)

 These are apparently mummy predators, one-eyed monsters living in desets disguisng themselves as pyramids and jumping hapless mummies who have stayed out at the pub too late on Friday nights.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

There's Always A reason (Almost Always)

Stan sent me this image:


He says they are "frien-emies"

I suppose I shall have to find out...

I can't easily slot them into my "Brewer's Brains" campaign where three-way civil war is raging on the streets of Qadouche.

I can't really plop them into the desert in the "Oasis of Jihazar" campaign that started last week and continues today as the green guy looks as if he'd hate the hot sands there.

My Vulgarian campaign which we picked up on Thursday after a gap of 2 months due to distance issues won't work because he delvers are on the verge of catching up with the ghost of Princess Dementia and confronting the silver warrior who broke her heart and dumped her (An adaption of an old D&D setting I chanced upon).

Probably the best bet is the Ogre campaign I'm doing with just Charlie as he's very tolerant of deus ex machina stuff. Having just met three very powerful wizard-gods, his character (a Stargate goa'uld) is on a road trip to the Ogre Peninsula from the larcenous city of Caerthaeph't in the company of the infamous and glamorous Rose of Stormguard. I think we could easily fit in an encounter with Fairy Nuff and a big dude stuck in a swamp. I don't think he's quite an ogre but maybe a cousin. Perhaps she put him in a Slush Yuck?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fishing In The Stream of Consciousness

I have to admit that the title to this post comes from Terry Pratchet. I'm listening to a book about a steam engine, Iron Girder. It was a throwaway line but it struck a chord for me. I read one TP book years and years ago and this is my second dip into his ocean. I would be thinking I am guilty of borrowing too much from his well of inspiration if I wasn't so ignorant of the material.

Back to D&D/T&T thoughts. GMing that game on Sunday, I really missed the LK attribute! I like to rumble my way through the attributes for saving rolls (as you will notice in my solos - I remember Patrice of the French T&T fame telling me this was a 'good thing') and I found no use for WISDOM without resorting to sommersaults and had to resort to random dice rolls to replace LK. I'm sure others have ways to work with this that I just did not think of but...

Ken says better to be lucky than to be good and I say better to be lucky than to be wise and have a bunch of hit points!

My post at the Trollbridge today:

And by the way - I had 6 sales of "Control Freak' in the first 12 hours on DriveThru. Now that may sound small (and I knw those who buy first -thank you! - are the keenest) but that is actually pretty good for me  We all know that amatuer writer/publishers do not do this for the money (as if!) but for the love of the game. Still, I'm pleased to sell one copy on the first day!!

Charlie has a dormant solo, "Cult of the Chaos God". that he has left alone for 6 months or so and I'm encouraging him to work on it again as a follow up to his "Jailbait" solo (that still sells the odd copy. Funny how one sale is like a touchdown.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jihazar Oasis

We began a new campaign yesterday!

Three players, maybe two more to join in and a cracking start in as much as we didn't reach the oasis and laughed alot. Well, that's my criterion for judging a game.

One player I had never played with before. He is a D&D player and I got an email from the worthy lady who runs the NZ MindSports Festival (which I have run games at for the last 3 years) telling me he was looking for a game.

Having discovered, thanks to the very un-rulebound Darcy Pery, that there's no reason you can't run D&D rules in the T&T spirit, I decided to take a crack at running a D&D game rather than T&T. Happily, Jacob was a man after my own heart and it quickly became apparent that the main difference was that we were rolling d20s for 'saving throws' rather than 2d6 for 'saving rolls'. OK, the spell names wee a bit dull but we agreed we could call them what we liked and that a successful game would be one where no rule book needed to be consulted.

The session ended when a very drunk elf wizard who had to be tied to the back of his camel to escape bandits and under-the-sands trollkin headhunters (he vomited on the camel's arse in an attempt to sober up) finally made the roll to regather his wits, just as the camel had escape the grasp of the halfling/hobbit/hobb paladin/warrior-wizard/paragon (my name preferences are the middle ones, by the way). This lead to the first and only spell cast of the day - something like 'Cloud of Daggers' which essentially sent a bunch of daggers in a five foot bunch at the pursuing savages.

This is not an accurate depiction by any stretch of the imagination but Stan sent this sketch and it almost fits:


More later, I expect...

And in other great news (to me at least), my new solo is now available as a book at Lulu and will appear on DriveThru as a pdf in a coupe of days. Not as exciting as T&T being wed to androids, I know, but you can only do what you can do :)

It's called "Control Freak - Spirited Resistance" and here's the web link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-thornton/control-freak-spirited-resistance/paperback/product-22792123.html

And here are the covers:



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Axed

Let's recap: you have been gifted an axe by Fairy Nuff. It has an iron head and a wooden shaft it is not enchanted, ot does not have an owner to whom it is special nor is it for you to use right now.

Let's change tack and find out why you are here.

Question:

Are you on a dungeon adventure?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

Dice, he say "2".

OK, now we're getting somewhere.

Are you solo?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

Luck of the dice response: 4.

Maybe this is a routine dungeon crawl.

Are you part of a group or do you have just one buddy?

1-3: you're in a party of delvers
4-6: you have a partner

1.

OK, How big a party?

1d6 plus 1,

Here comes the result of the Dice Jury: 4.

So a party of 6.

How many warriors? (1d6)

4.

Plenty of meat shielding on offer!

Are the other two both wizards?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

1.

Are you a wizard?


1-4: no
5-6: yes

 5.

Now we know that you are a spellchucker!  What level?

1-3: L1
4-5: L2
6: higher

 5.

L2, so no novice.

Are you human?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

6.

Let's find out your kindred...


1: elf
2: dwarf
3: hobbit
 4: fairy
5: leprechaun
6: something else

2.

That's it then, A L2 dwarf wizard in a party of six, just presented with an ordinary axe.

One last question for today.

Does Fairy Nuff have something specific in mind for you and the axe?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

4.

Oh well....



Saturday, July 9, 2016

There Must be A Reason For All Of This

The dice comes up with a '2' so a weapon is given to you by Fairy Nuff. Fair enough but what is it?

1 - a sword
2 - an axe
3 - a dagger
4 - a spear
5 - a bow and arrows
6 - something else

Let's not wait until tomorrow this time!

Another '2' so an axe is what you have received.

What is it made of? We'll try head and shaft combinations.

1 - stone and wood
2 - bronze and wood
5 - all steel
4 - iron and wood
5 - jade and steel
6 - something else

Time to spin again: 4.

Is it enchanted?

1-2: no.
3-6: yes

And the dice verdict? 1.

OK....

What to ask next?

Is it special to someone?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

Mr Dice says....5.

We must probe deeper it appears.

Is it purely pragmatic, for the here and now?

1-3: yes
4-6: no

Cube response: 5

Gosh, this is opaque!

Let's wait until tomorrow to think up some more questions.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Gift

The dice came up '4' so a gift it is.

What sort of gift? Let's see...

1 - an attribute boost
2 -  a weapon
3 - a spell
4 - a friend
5 - a magic ring
6 - something else...

We'll see tomorrow, provided it dawns as we expect.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fairy Nuff

This fairy has been the Mercury/Hermes of my campaigns.

What's she going to cast with her wand now?

1-3 - you need rescuing
4-6 - you're going to get a gift

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Ghostly Going

I decided to set out on another Trollworld novel. I had an idea and then remembered the spell, 'A Ghostly Going', which rather fitted by theme (I'd been reading about evolution and about qunatum computers and had projected an unsinister future free from physical needs in which we are all uploaded to a computer - if we're not there already!). The ghost notion fitted this line of thought just as well.

(You could find "A Blank Canvas for the Quantum Artist" at DriveThru for $1 if you were so inclined.)

Anyhow, this fellow hasn't got very long left to live. I wonder what he thinks, knowing this as he does?


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Caerthaeph't Shopping Opportunities

Here's another insight into the delights of this city of thieves:




·        Fagin’s Knickknacks (18) - Snaffle Street
·        Mustapha’s Bizarre Bazaar (19) - Shark Court
·        Arfa Daley’s Used Cart Lot (38) - Hostage Hill
·        Bunter’s Tuck Shop (39) - Purloin Passage
·        Sweeny Todd’s Pie Shop (58) - Cutthroat Place
·        Ike Godsey’s General Store (78) - Pickpocket Parade
·        Cutthroat Jake’s Prawn Shop (98) - Burglar Arcade
·        The Cave of Maleficius (118) - Kidnappers’ Close
·        The Sisters of Mercy Clinic for the Maimed, Insane and Intoxicated (138) - Gollum Square
·        Gems & Giants (158) - Hit and Run Avenue
·        Mr. Woo’s Laundry (178) - Heist Street
·        Pandora’s Box (198) - Ruffians Row
·        Fanny’s Knocking Shop (218) - The Robber Road
·        The Old Curiosity Shoppe (227) – Filch Street
·        Aladddin’s Cave (238) - Hijack Park
·        Al’s Toy Barn (258) - Larceny Lane
·        Affleck’s Palace (277) – Sneak Lane
·        Mrs. Goggins’ Pigeon Post (278) - Pursesnatch Alley
·        The Two Coppers Shop (297) – Robin Hood Street
·        Delver Operations Network (298) - Thieves Boulevard